Food To Improve Your Mood

Food nourishes your mind as well as your body. A delicious, balanced diet supplies the essential nutrients for optimal mental function and emotional equilibrium. Many scientific studies demonstrate that the nourishment provided by your food directly influences the chemistry of your brain. Depression, anxiety and day-to-day mood fluctuations can be affected by your nutrition. For example, when you ingest abundant amounts of the amino acid tryptophan along with complex carbohydrates, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, you enhance the production of the brain chemical serotonin, essential for maintaining a positive outlook on life. The following recipe from The Chopra Center Cookbook is rich in these mood-enhancing nutrients.

Rainbow Risotto

Serves 9

1 tsp olive oil
1-1/2 cup chopped leeks

1 tbsp Braggs liquid amino acids
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp basil
1 tbsp vegetable stock

1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
2 cups Arborio rice, rinsed and drain

6 cups vegetable stock
1 cup soymilk

Heat up the oil in a large 4-quart soup pot over medium heat. Sauté the leeks with the Braggs, vinegar and spices until clear. Add the Arborio rice. Arborio rice will need continual stirring, have all ingredients ready and at hand. Sauté the rice until golden brown or caramelized. Lower the heat. As the rice dries out, begin to add 1 cup of stock at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the stock each time before adding more. Keep stirring. 1 cup of plain soymilk can be added now for a creamy texture.

1 tsp olive oil
1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 cup zucchini, cut into small 1/4 inch moons
1 cup white beans, cooked or 14 ounce canned, drain and rinsed

2 cups mixture of spinach and arugula, coarsely torn
1 tbsp rosemary, fresh and chopped
1 tbsp mint, fresh and chopped
2 tbsp basil, fresh, thinly sliced

Heat up a sauté pan on medium-high heat with the oil and add the carrots, celery, zucchini and beans. Sauté until the carrots are al dente or almost soft. Add the greens and continue to sauté until just wilted. Pour all the ingredients from the sauté pan into the rice, add the fresh herbs and gently combine. Place the rice into a festive serving dish and garnish with freshly chopped parsley.

The CHOPRA CENTER COOKBOOK written by Leanne Backer, Resident Chopra Center Chef; David Simon, MD; and Deepak Chopra, MD provides easy to follow principles and recipes to gain the health generating nutrients that support ideal mental and physical well being. Drawing upon ancient wisdom and modern science, the Chopra Center Cookbook demonstrates how food can be your medicine to heal your mind and your body.

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Written by Leanne Backer Residetn Chopra Center Chef

Explore Wellness in 2021